Thursday, 2 October 2008
Enfants Kidnappés 1/10/08: Unprecedented haul of internet paedophiles in Spain.
The Spanish police carried off an unprecedented haul in the field of child pornography on the internet with 121 arrests and now place this type of action as one of its "priorities."
The Interior Minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba congratulated the "fine work" by the police against offences, "which arouse the most disgust in society."
Around 800 police officers across Spain participated in this operation, Christened, "Carousel," the Spanish police indicated in a press release on Wednesday.
It is, "the most important operation against child pornography on the internet ever carried out in the country," they stressed.
Amongst those arrested were a police officer, an agent for the Spanish intelligence services, CNI (National Information centre) as well as a student from a school for the Civil Guard, several Spanish media indicated, quoting sources close to the investigation.
In addition to the 121 arrests, 96 other people were prosecuted in this case for, "possession and distribution of material of a paedophile nature on the internet," the police stated.
A total of 210 searches were carried out which led to the police seizing 347 computer hard discs, 1,186 CDs and DVDs, 36 laptop computers, 15 USB memory sticks.
"Millions of archival videos and photos were seized, some showing assaults on minors, extreme in their severity," the police explained.
Amongst the people arrested, two individuals, "were producing their own pornographic material," in addition to receiving and exchanging files with paedophile content and their, "victims could be identified in their family surroundings."
The investigation was launched in 2007 in, "collaboration," with the Brazilian police. It was focused on a, "known file-sharing network," through which "many archives of a paedophile nature," transited.
With the help of the police from different countries, the Spanish division specialised in this type of crime, the Brigade for Technological Investigation, was able to list 18,000 connections with illegal content in 75 different countries.
But it was in Spain that their action was focused, locating 250 homes where pornographic content featuring minors had been downloaded and distributed.
The people arrested come from the most diverse social and professional backgrounds. There are airline pilots, janitors, taxi drivers and even bank employees amongst the 121 arrested. Age is also highly variable, ranging from minors to retired.
For several years Spain has increased operations against paedophiles on the internet and the national Spanish police now place tracking down paedophiles on the internet amongst their, "priorities."
In the past five years, more than 1,200 people have been arrested in Spain in connection with paedophilia on the internet. The specialist Spanish investigators have been helped for several years by special software, "Hispalis," which allows them to detect and find the names and addresses of internet users who log on to illegal sites.
The work of the Spanish Brigade for Technological Investigation is one of the best known at international level. This year, the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, honoured the work of the Spanish police in awarding them its international prize, "Children first."